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Skeptics: Show me an alternative theory.

Deuce

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As shown in the thread in my signature, there's definite evidence that CO2 has a warming influence. Let's say, for the purposes of this thread, that the warming influence of CO2 really is exaggerated/falsified, and that CO2 is not driving the current warming trend.

So, tell me. What is causing the current warming? I ask this question a lot, because skeptics always are saying this is part of a "natural cycle." I don't dispute that natural climate cycles exist, and no climatologist does either. However, what I want to know is: what is the physical mechanism that causes the current warming? "It's natural" is about as definitive an answer as "it's magic." What causes it? What evidence is there to support that?
 

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As shown in the thread in my signature, there's definite evidence that CO2 has a warming influence. Let's say, for the purposes of this thread, that the warming influence of CO2 really is exaggerated/falsified, and that CO2 is not driving the current warming trend.

So, tell me. What is causing the current warming? I ask this question a lot, because skeptics always are saying this is part of a "natural cycle." I don't dispute that natural climate cycles exist, and no climatologist does either. However, what I want to know is: what is the physical mechanism that causes the current warming? "It's natural" is about as definitive an answer as "it's magic." What causes it? What evidence is there to support that?
For one thing, it should be said that just because the cause of something is unknown, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just that it has yet to be found. Really, most of science deals with this, and most observations in science remain unexplained except for a constantly changing group of theories.

There are some theories here, too. The Chilling Stars, by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder, proposes that climate change is related to a decrease in cosmic radiation due to an increase in solar activity. Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years, by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, points to the possibility of a 1500-year solar cycle that recent warming is a part of. Both of these are just theories, though, and I'd take them with a grain of salt, but the point is that alternate theories do exist.
 

FluffyNinja

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As shown in the thread in my signature, there's definite evidence that CO2 has a warming influence. Let's say, for the purposes of this thread, that the warming influence of CO2 really is exaggerated/falsified, and that CO2 is not driving the current warming trend.

So, tell me. What is causing the current warming? I ask this question a lot, because skeptics always are saying this is part of a "natural cycle." I don't dispute that natural climate cycles exist, and no climatologist does either. However, what I want to know is: what is the physical mechanism that causes the current warming? "It's natural" is about as definitive an answer as "it's magic." What causes it? What evidence is there to support that?
Is the Science Community even in agreement that we ARE, IN FACT even experiencing a "warming trend"? If so, it is news to me. After all, atmospheric satellite temperature readings have only been available since around 1977 and even they have only shown ONE major two-year temperature spike. I believe your entire OP may be founded upon a false premise.
 
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Deuce

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Is the Science Community even in agreement that we ARE, IN FACT even experiencing a "warming trend"? If so, it is news to me. After all, atmospheric satellite temperature readings have only been available since around 1977 and even they have only shown ONE major two-year temperature spike. I believe your entire OP may be founded upon a false premise.
Yes. The scientific community is in agreement that we are getting warmer and have been for decades.


There are people who claim it's a warming bias introduced by urban heat island effects and having temperature stations placed too close to development. What those people don't tell you is that even using Anthony Watts' (the skeptic behind this 'movement') "good" or "best" located sites, you get the same temperature graph. Also, nature itself is showing us thousands of signs of a warming planet. Optimal crop planting zones are moving away from the equator, birds are changing migratory patterns, glacial rivers are changing the peak flow days and breaking days, etc.

You talk about "one major two-year spike," but I'm not sure what you mean by that. The overall trend is absolutely towards warming.
 

Deuce

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For one thing, it should be said that just because the cause of something is unknown, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just that it has yet to be found. Really, most of science deals with this, and most observations in science remain unexplained except for a constantly changing group of theories.
It is very true that just because we haven't found the answer doesn't mean one does not exist. However, this is not a particularly compelling argument in favor of a natural cycle!

There are some theories here, too. The Chilling Stars, by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder, proposes that climate change is related to a decrease in cosmic radiation due to an increase in solar activity. Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years, by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, points to the possibility of a 1500-year solar cycle that recent warming is a part of. Both of these are just theories, though, and I'd take them with a grain of salt, but the point is that alternate theories do exist.
You missed one step: The cosmic rays seed clouds, and clouds reflect sunlight, cooling the earth, goes this particular theory. There's a few hitches:

1) Solar activity since about 1960 has had a long-term trend of being completely flat.

Without an increase in solar activity over the last 50 years, why has the temperature change been greatest in this period?
edit: In fact, just this last year or so marked the upturn from the lowest solar minimum we've ever (directly) recorded.

2) The influence of clouds on temperature is not well-resolved. Another prominent skeptic actually proposes just the opposite: that clouds trap infrared radiation and acutally warm the planet.

3) These guys tested the cosmic ray->cloud link and found that it wasn't a good one.
 
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Demon of Light

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As shown in the thread in my signature, there's definite evidence that CO2 has a warming influence. Let's say, for the purposes of this thread, that the warming influence of CO2 really is exaggerated/falsified, and that CO2 is not driving the current warming trend.

So, tell me. What is causing the current warming? I ask this question a lot, because skeptics always are saying this is part of a "natural cycle." I don't dispute that natural climate cycles exist, and no climatologist does either. However, what I want to know is: what is the physical mechanism that causes the current warming? "It's natural" is about as definitive an answer as "it's magic." What causes it? What evidence is there to support that?
Your problem is the same as many other people obsessed with mainstream science, you don't actually understand real science. I don't have to invent a round wheel in order to tell you your square one sucks. All I have to do is point out flaws or bad assumptions with your proposed explanation. The onus is on you to account for those problems. If you cannot even account for data that conflicts with your own theory you shouldn't be peddling it as a theory.
 

FluffyNinja

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Yes. The scientific community is in agreement that we are getting warmer and have been for decades.


There are people who claim it's a warming bias introduced by urban heat island effects and having temperature stations placed too close to development. What those people don't tell you is that even using Anthony Watts' (the skeptic behind this 'movement') "good" or "best" located sites, you get the same temperature graph. Also, nature itself is showing us thousands of signs of a warming planet. Optimal crop planting zones are moving away from the equator, birds are changing migratory patterns, glacial rivers are changing the peak flow days and breaking days, etc.

You talk about "one major two-year spike," but I'm not sure what you mean by that. The overall trend is absolutely towards warming.
How widespread were temperature monitoring stations from 1860-1920? Can we honestly put the readings from the last 20 years into the same category as those from 150 years ago to create an "dependable" graph? Your graph represents nothing more than faulty science.
 

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How widespread were temperature monitoring stations from 1860-1920? Can we honestly put the readings from the last 20 years into the same category as those from 150 years ago to create an "dependable" graph? Your graph represents nothing more than faulty science.
That is where proxy data comes in.

In fact there is a whole slew of methods

There is No Evidence : A Few Things Ill Considered
 

Aunt Spiker

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As shown in the thread in my signature, there's definite evidence that CO2 has a warming influence. Let's say, for the purposes of this thread, that the warming influence of CO2 really is exaggerated/falsified, and that CO2 is not driving the current warming trend.

So, tell me. What is causing the current warming? I ask this question a lot, because skeptics always are saying this is part of a "natural cycle." I don't dispute that natural climate cycles exist, and no climatologist does either. However, what I want to know is: what is the physical mechanism that causes the current warming? "It's natural" is about as definitive an answer as "it's magic." What causes it? What evidence is there to support that?
I'm not a weather-knowledgable person. . . but I'm sure it has to do with the earth's orbit, the sun, the earth's spin and a combination of their magnetic fields and other such things like that - you know - naturally occuring things.

:shrug:

I, however, don't support 'global warming' so much as I support 'climate change' - because where things seem to increase in one area it decreases in another.
 

OscarB63

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CO2:

correlation does not always equal causation
 

Deuce

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I'm not a weather-knowledgable person. . . but I'm sure it has to do with the earth's orbit, the sun, the earth's spin and a combination of their magnetic fields and other such things like that - you know - naturally occuring things.

:shrug:

I, however, don't support 'global warming' so much as I support 'climate change' - because where things seem to increase in one area it decreases in another.
Global warming was a term invented by journalists, and is insufficient to describe what is really happening. Climate change is a bit better. Anyway, yes, milankovitch cycles (the regular changes in some of the earth's orbital mechanics) are believed to be a primary driver of the earth's previous cycles of glaciation and warming. The earth's axis precesses, the axial tilt shifts back and forth, and eccentricity of the orbit changes. (there might be more, I forget)

However, I'm waiting for somebody to show me how the current warming trend fits into that cycle. Which orbital factor is pushing us towards a warmer planet?

It's the sun
I'll just post this again and let you make up your own mind.



Your problem is the same as many other people obsessed with mainstream science, you don't actually understand real science. I don't have to invent a round wheel in order to tell you your square one sucks. All I have to do is point out flaws or bad assumptions with your proposed explanation. The onus is on you to account for those problems. If you cannot even account for data that conflicts with your own theory you shouldn't be peddling it as a theory.
In that other thread, you posted one theory about reflectivity of ice and showed a graph of glacier melting rates that barely even supports your theory, let alone proves it. Everything else was basically boiled down to "Nuh UH." Anyway, this thread is for skeptics to show evidence for their alternative theories.
 
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Demon of Light

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In that other thread, you posted one theory about reflectivity of ice and showed a graph of glacier melting rates that barely even supports your theory, let alone proves it.
Honestly, you're only saying that because you do not pursue real science. Rather you are inculcated into the religion of science. I actually made several points regarding the melting ice and further noted how in another thread it was pointed out that until the 1970's the warming trend was accounted for almost entirely or entirely by natural fluctuations like solar activity.

Everything else was basically boiled down to "Nuh UH."
What the hell are you talking about?
 

Deuce

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Honestly, you're only saying that because you do not pursue real science. Rather you are inculcated into the religion of science. I actually made several points regarding the melting ice and further noted how in another thread it was pointed out that until the 1970's the warming trend was accounted for almost entirely or entirely by natural fluctuations like solar activity.
You made "points" but didn't provide evidence to support what you were saying. That's the part you aren't getting.
Here's your chance!
 

FluffyNinja

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That is where proxy data comes in.

In fact there is a whole slew of methods

There is No Evidence : A Few Things Ill Considered
Yes, yes, your ice core samples, bore holes , tree ring data, etc. I've seen, heard, and read it all before. This does not detract from the fact that your graph attempts to show temperature differentiations to the tenth of a degree. Let us be perfectly honest here; does any sane person believe, for one minute that tree ring density or pollen grains in sediment from 300 years ago could give us a reading that accurate? Laughable. I'm obviously no climatologist either but I do know that your "proxy data" does not reveal the degree of specificity that you claim it does. This field of "proxy data" collection certainly leaves a great deal of room for subjectivity. Heck, four-tenths of a degree in the wrong direction and we could be talking about global cooling instead of global warming, LOL. :roll:
 

Deuce

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Yes, yes, your ice core samples, bore holes , tree ring data, etc. I've seen, heard, and read it all before. This does not detract from the fact that your graph attempts to show temperature differentiations to the tenth of a degree. Let us be perfectly honest here; does any sane person believe, for one minute that tree ring density or pollen grains in sediment from 300 years ago could give us a reading that accurate? Laughable. I'm obviously no climatologist either but I do know that your "proxy data" does not reveal the degree of specificity that you claim it does. This field of "proxy data" collection certainly leaves a great deal of room for subjectivity. Heck, four-tenths of a degree in the wrong direction and we could be talking about global cooling instead of global warming, LOL. :roll:
You admit to no expertise on the subject yet proclaim that there's just no way it could be this accurate. Wow.
Besides, temperature proxies aren't really critical to the key issue of CO2's absorption of infrared radiation. THAT is very well measured.

I, for one, think this whole idea of time dilation at near-luminal speeds is totally bunk. Time doesn't just change because I sped up! That's ridiculous!

Of course, you're the guy who thinks the world isn't actually getting warmer and that birds are just trying to trick us with their migration patterns, so what can I expect...
 
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FluffyNinja

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You admit to no expertise on the subject yet proclaim that there's just no way it could be this accurate. Wow.
Besides, temperature proxies aren't really critical to the key issue of CO2's absorption of infrared radiation. THAT is very well measured.

I, for one, think this whole idea of time dilation at near-luminal speeds is totally bunk. Time doesn't just change because I sped up! That's ridiculous!

Of course, you're the guy who thinks the world isn't actually getting warmer and that birds are just trying to trick us with their migration patterns, so what can I expect...
So, are you defending "proxy data" as definitive proof that WORLDWIDE temperatures increased two-tenths of a degree 130 years ago? I was simply responding to a poster who so kindly brought up the idea that "proxy data" can definitively be used to fill in the gaps missing by lack of actual, widely, and evenly distributed measuring devices 130 years ago. If you're going to use a graph to show minute details such as a change in global temperatures over 130 years ago as specific as to a few tenths of a degree, shouldn't we be provided an explanation as to how the data was collected. Your "science" is misleading in that the graph implies data which has been obtained "equitably" over the past 130 years, when, IN FACT, the data for the FIRST 70 years covered by the graph was gathered through "proxy observation" while the latter 70 years of data seems to be empirical - or collected with actual instruments. This "creative" method of expressing the data is not openly revealed to the viewer whom, if a mere lay person such as myself, may well assume that all of these very specific temp readings were ACTUALLY collected, AND in the same way. LOL
 
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Deuce

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Climate Changes.
Me: "Why does the climate change?"
You: "Climate changes."
Me: (sigh)
So, are you defending "proxy data" as definitive proof that WORLDWIDE temperatures increased two-tenths of a degree 130 years ago? I was simply responding to a poster who so kindly brought up the idea that "proxy data" can definitively be used to fill in the gaps missing by lack of actual, widely, and evenly distributed measuring devices 130 years ago. If you're going to use a graph to show minute details such as a change in global temperatures over 130 years ago as specific as to a few tenths of a degree, shouldn't we be provided an explanation as to how the data was collected. Your "science" is misleading in that the graph implies data which has been obtained "equitably" over the past 130 years, when, IN FACT, the data for the FIRST 70 years covered by the graph was gathered through "proxy observation" while the latter 70 years of data seems to be empirical - or collected with actual instruments. This "creative" method of expressing the data is not openly revealed to the viewer whom, if a mere lay person such as myself, may well assume that all of these very specific temp readings were ACTUALLY collected, AND in the same way. LOL
So the lack of widely-distributed stations 130 years ago negates the very accurate data we have over, say, the last 70 years that you yourself admit is empirical?
Really? You still are on this idiocy about the earth not actually getting warmer? Why don't you come out and admit it: you think the birds and plants are in on the hoax.
 
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FluffyNinja

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So the lack of widely-distributed stations 130 years ago negates the very accurate data we have over, say, the last 70 years that you yourself admit is empirical?
Really? You still are on this idiocy about the earth not actually getting warmer? Why don't you come out and admit it: you think the birds and plants are in on the hoax.
Hey man, you're the one who threw up the graph to "prove" that we have been experiencing a definitive warming trend. I'm simply questioning the consistency with which the data was obtained. Isn't "hard science" still based on some level of consistency in data collection and reporting, or have I missed something in the last 30 years or so?
 

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You: OMG CLIMATE CHANGES!!! IT MUST BE OUR FAULT!!!

Me: The Climate always changes, and always will. Did so before we arrived, will do so after we leave.

Next question?
 

FluffyNinja

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And BTW I don't recall saying anything about VERY ACCURATE data over the past 70 years, I simply said:
while the latter 70 years of data seems to be empirical - or collected with actual instruments
 

Demon of Light

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You made "points" but didn't provide evidence to support what you were saying. That's the part you aren't getting.
Somehow you aren't getting that I did provide evidence.
 
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